From July 11th to the 13th, Rod Authority was treated to one of the nation’s most renowned gatherings of hot rods, street rods, customs, and musclecars–Goodguys Rod & Custom Association’s 17th PPG Nationals.
The PPG Nationals is one of, if not the biggest, events amongst the Goodguys circuit of annual events. This year’s Ohio-based event was no different; it is here that attendees are given the opportunity to catch the unveiling of the Optima Batteries Street Machine of the Year and the Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year. On top of that, following the ceremonial crownings Goodguys unveiled their 1970 C10 Giveaway truck aka the G10.
This gorgeous truck was built by the folks at Scott’s Hot Rods out of Oxnard, California. We’ll refrain from going into too much detail as we’ll be running a full up-close feature on the truck in the very near future including some interviews from the guys at Scott’s and a spotlight on an aftermarket manufacturer who was involved with the project.
From the main event at the Ohio Expo Center and eastward to National Trails which hosted the Vintage Friday Nite Drags, and all the way up to the Crown Plaza Hotel which took on duties as “host hotel” for the event–it’s an understatement to say that for 72 hours Columbus was taken over by nostalgia and the streets were packed day AND night with nothing but classics.
Rod Authority’s coverage from this year consists of spotlights of the Street Rod of the Year contenders. We’re excited to dedicate a large section of this feature to a good portion of the street rods and hot rods that stepped up to the plate for the title this year. At the end of the article you’ll find our exclusive gallery showcasing over 300 photos from the main event, Friday Nite Drags, AutoCross, and the Street Rod of the Year ceremony. Without further ado check out the competition and don’t forget to leave a comment telling us which one was your favorite from the bunch.
Street Rods & Hot Rods Vie For Coveted Street Rod of the Year
With over 25 car owners with their pristine show vehicles parked in the Builder’s Choice special parking area Rod Authority was up bright and early to catch snaps and quick-hits of some of the Street Rod of the Year contenders before their 10:00 a.m. cutoff.
The ’37 features an LS1 with custom cover, TCI chassis with RideTech air ride, PPG base coat and clear coat, leather upholstery by Upholstery Unlimited, and 18-inch/20-inch Billet Specialties wheels complimented by a set of Nitto tires.
Oscar Gamble from Poducah, Kentucky brought out his solid ’32 Ford hi-boy roadster. Nothing overdone, Oscar’s roadster was an execution of subtlety and not being trigger happy with the design.
The ’32 features a 327 ci Chevy/2×4 5-speed engine/transmission combo. Body and paint was handled by Brad Starks Rod & Custom, interior and audio by Recovery Room, and the wheels are from Real Rodders Wheels.
The bodywork and yellow paint job was laid on by the owner’s own business, Ron Sall Body Werx. The interior was worked over by Schoebers Interiors while Billet Specialties provided some jewelry in the form of a set of 5-spoke classic spinners. To top off this beauty Ron topped the engine off with Hillborn Fuel Injection.
The first truck that we came across amongst the group of contenders was a real stunner. Charlie and Sandy Chadd out of Neponset, Illinois touted their 1929 Ford Model A Truck and it definitely grabbed our attention.
This gorgeous classic features a 350 ci/700R4 engine/transmission combo. The body sits atop the original Ford chassis. The paint is a rich Ford-black, and as the icon is famously paraphrased, “you can have any color as long as it’s black,” the Chadd’s truck definitely does this saying justice.
The black Dayton wire wheels and continental-style spares add to the slick theme of the pickup. Other highlights include a polished transmission and rearend, to give this tough looking classic some show-status.
Parked right next to the Chadds was Randy and Beverly Best’s ’37 Ford pickup which was just as elegant in and out.
Hailing from Clyde, North Carolina the Best’s ’37 features a Roush 427 ci/Ford C6 transmission combo outfitted with 8-stack fuel injection giving it a road-worthy 551 horsepower. The chassis is the original with some modifications made to accommodate the Mustang II front clip and air suspension setup.
The roof has been chopped 1 1/8-inch, the bed, which features Sapele Wood, was raised 3-inches. Perhaps the best compliment to the Dupont Black paint is the interior of this pickup–in a luxurious fashion the Bests incorporated the use of Kenya Bison leather, antique Ostrich, German Wool carpet, and for some sparkle, Classic Instruments gauges–breath taking to say the least.
Pulling us from the mesmerizing factor of the last two vehicles was Bill Sherman’s ’33 Ford 3-window out of Peru, Illinois. He pulled up in his 3-window with a stance that practically screamed it wanted to smoke the competition well before they could say “finish line.”
The ’33 features a 454 ci Big-Block with a dual quad intake setup. With a slight wedge chop and Hoosier rear tires and ET Fueler wheels, we’re sure Bill lets his ’33 rip on the streets every chance he gets.
Their ’32 features an LS2 and a chassis that Gary handmade himself. Matrix Candy Burgandy drowns the eyes in a truly deep paint job. When we asked Gary to tell us some special features about his car he told us that, “all the work was done at home.” Kudos to anyone that takes it upon themselves and their own blood and sweat to bring a classic back to life.
Mike and Marcia Johnston out of Livonia, New York tackled the contenders with their 1935 Ford outfitted with a Ford FE 428 ci/Tremec 5-speed transmission combo. The engine bay was definitely something to gawk over–the classic finned dress-up was complimented by some tasteful color accents.
With a stretched front, a custom trunk, and a stout and tastefully built car all around, it’s no wonder this ’35 made it to the Top 5 finalists.
Featuring a one-off body and sculpted seats, headlights, windshield posts, custom cross-ram manifold, and air cleaners built by John, this is a truly unique ’35. A 350 ci/700R4 combo sits in the engine bay while a 9-inch Currie rearend with a Strange differential complete the drivetrain.
Another show-stopper in the Builder’s Choice parking area was John Fry’s clean 1940 LaSalle. Hailing from Illinois this LS3/4L65E powered classic was stunning from the wheel choice and smoothed-over engine bay to the Champagne body paint.
John’s LaSalle harnessed both, the class of the 1940s and some really clean modern bodywork techniques–another one of the Top 5 from the event, Rod Authority congratulates all those involved with this build.
Another woody came out to compete over the weekend and that was Jerry E. Sander of Centerville, Ohio’s ’34 Ford Woody.
Body and paint was handled by Jerry and his friends while Boyd singer went over updating the chassis. Dennis Gamble stitched the interior. The set of orange wire-wheels are one-off by Butch Henderson.
Doug Klann of Freeland, Michigan’s 1940 Ford is another example of a timeless creation. With a subtly chopped and sectioned body John’s 302 ci powered Ford would be right at home cruising the highways during the golden age and will surely turn heads decades down the road.
As we made our way to the second row we were instantly hit with a lineup of wild and bold builds. Jason McPike’s ’47 Hudson truck caught our eye from the get-go.
The engine is a Chevy Small-Block featuring Dart heads, an Edelbrock 4-barrel accented by “custom jewelry.” Renowned Alston Chassisworks provided the chassis fitted with subframes in the the front and rear.
The truck is a an eye-catching two-tone comprised of “Green Acres Pearl” and “Bad Bad Leroy Brown.” Paul Atkins beautified the interior with some brown leather and custom trim. Wheelsmith Artillery wheels with custom center caps compliment the ’47’s paint job.
The bold just kept getting bolder as we walked down this second row of contenders. William Wolf’s 1929 Model A packed a lot of visual punch as well as some under-the-hood modifications.
The roof is chopped 3.5-inches to give the street rod a more aggressive, but road-friendly aesthetic. 1940 Chevy front turn signals and ’36 Chevy headlights have been added for some custom flavor. The paint is a PPG Rat Roadster Green over Copperhead Orange.
Billet Specialties Stiletto Wheels give William’s ’29 even more shine–20×10 in the rear and 18×7 in the front. A 304 ci Mercury flathead adds some uniqueness amongst the competition and for some classic styling a triple-deuce Edelbrock intake tops off the flathead.
Bill Yorker’s 1930 Model A touting a 528 ci HEMI answered back with his own brand of bold.
The all-steel body features a two-tone paint job as well–Candy Brandy Wine and Sunset Pearl. Weather you’re a fan of the color or not the stance on this ’30 is undeniable. In order to achieve it, Bill pulled all the stops on cutting the car down to his vision–it’s been chopped, channelled, sectioned, and widened.
A familiar face was also present at the competition this year–you might recognize Dale Turner’s ’47 Buick from a past Rod Authority feature. For detailed information on this awesome ride be sure to check out the link.
When we set our eyes on Don and Carolyn Smith’s ’32 Ford 4-door sedan we knew that in front of us was something truly special. With a unique coach-built look melded with some classy show-rod chrome regalia it’s no wonder it was an instant hit at the show.
A 312 ci Y-Block set the ’32 apart from the rest of the competitors. A custom-built chassis from the folks at Hot Rods by JSK provided the foundation for this stellar classic. Along with the chassis, Hot Rods by JSK handled the complete build, from the Dupont Crush paint job to fabricating practically every part on this stunner.
For those who didn’t get a chance to attend this year’s show, Don’s ’32 was crowned this year’s Street Rod of the Year and we couldn’t have thought of a better choice. With all the amazing examples of design and engineering that showed out, Don and Carolyn’s ’32 was constantly packed with a crowd of admirers all weekend.
You can check out a closeup of Don’s ’32 by heading over to Goodguys.
First Donuts On YouTube, Then The Ridler Burns Rubber On The AutoCross
JF Launier has got to be one of the most entertaining Ridler winners to date. From a video of the owner/builder doing donuts in his ’64 Buick Riviera to his AutoCross display at this year’s Goodguys 17th PPG Nationals.
People like JF are good for the culture–his lack of fear to put his show-level car through the ringer is a perfect lesson in never forgetting to enjoy the things we create and work so hard for. Sure a classic should be respected, but is quarantining a creation that feels at home in motion really the best way to show it?
JF has the right idea and his idea of appreciating a Ridler level car is a trend that we can only hope catches on, all the way down to the garage-built cars whose owners can get hampered by prima-donna sentiments at times as well.
The weekend was fun-packed and there was no shortage of classic cars and trucks to keep our eyes locked. In the end the Top 5 finalists from the Builder’s Choice parking area where as follows; Don Smith’s ’32 Ford, Mike Johnston’s ’35 Ford, Rocky Bler’s ’33 Ford coupe, John Fry’s ’40 LaSalle, and Steve Grub’s ’32 coupe. Check out some of the highlights from the crowning ceremony here and below.
This was one of Goodguys’ biggest PPG Nationals to-date and we can’t wait until next next year for the 18th PPG Nationals.
Stay tuned as Rod Authority’s coverage from Columbus isn’t finished, we’ve got two car features and a very special closeup of the G10 giveaway truck coming your way in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned and don’t miss out!